Yes! It is that time of year again, when I wistfully talk about the return of my long-lost hour that was so abruptly taken last spring, only to return in the fall which, just so happens, the return is to be in a couple of days and I can’t begin to tell you how gleeful I am! And right around my birthday; could it be any better planned? What a perfect birthday present for the lady who loves her sleep!
However, with this time of year comes other favorites. The turning of the leaves for one and the change of the temperature as it starts dropping, we can now trade our t-shirts in for our flannel night-shirts and fuzzy socks. There is something so wonderfully cozy and soothing about the fall mornings, like sipping hot coffee, reading the newspaper or working on your latest project (and if you’re like me, your latest blog post or article), while snuggled up in your favorite afghan. So many wonderful traditions that come to mind around the holidays, starting with Halloween, and continuing all the way through New Year’s Day.
For the first time in years I feel the necessity to decorate. Back in the day, when I was married, I can remember decorating for almost every holiday. I would have decorations around the door of our home – I found these wonderful cornhusk garlands that I would initially decorate with fall leaves, pumpkins, black widow spiders, and I found these skeleton lights that were a perfect match for Halloween. I would wrap it all up with a wonderful spooky ribbon; we were the talk of the neighborhood…
Halloween’s black widow spiders, skeleton lights and scary ribbon was replaced by squashes of different shapes and sizes, clear white lights and a more elegant ‘fall’ colored ribbon that would transform our Halloween door into a more welcoming, beautiful Thanksgiving threshold to welcome our ‘grateful’ guests. And, of course once the turkey was off of the table, our Christmas decorations came out and replaced everything in the house. Our home would be transformed, yet again, into a Winter Wonderland. And come spring, it would all continue… I LOVED it!
But, somewhere along the line I grew tired. It became too much. Of course I was the only one putting up and clearing the decorations to pack them back up and into their boxes in our garage. I mean, we had 108 feet of pine garland for crying out loud; and that was just the garland. Then (for example) there were usually two trees, both were filled with ornaments; I don’t think there was a corner or a space in our home that didn’t have ‘Christmas’ in it. I just loved having candles, lights, all over our home. It was truly a special time for us. The holidays, in general, were very special for me and, I felt it was important for me to give the same traditions that were passed down by my mother onto those around me. Unfortunately, I would later find that I was the only one in our partnership to feel its importance. In the beginning that wasn’t the case, Doug would get the tree at Christmas and even help decorate it. We would do so much together… but as time wore on (especially toward the end of our marriage), he did less and less with me (and seemed to appreciate less and less as the years wore on). We were less of a couple and more like roommates or brother and sister. There was no ‘togetherness’; no partnership and I grew very tired as the chores of the traditions weighed that much more heavily on my shoulders.
It has been some time since I’ve had my own space, my own things. I will be going to Santa Fé this Christmas to spend the holiday with my other sister; but that shouldn’t stop me from decorating. I’m going to stay in for the Thanksgiving holiday (just me, Tula and Frank Sinatra – my bird)… I’ll make a small turkey with all the fixings (just like my mom made and just how I like it) and we’ll watch Miracle On 34th Street and have a wonderful day; come Friday, I will decorate like crazy!
It is a wonderful feeling to look forward, as opposed to backwards, while getting excited for the future. Not to say that I wasn’t excited for my future, not really sure how I was feeling, really. I guess melancholy would best describe it – not excited and not dreading… just, meh… But I now have a much better outlook on what is to be – much better, much better in deed!
As I embark on the new season with the return of my cherished hour that will once again grace my evening slumber; I’m reminded of that lost young woman who couldn’t wait to deck her halls with not just boughs of holly, but lights, ribbon, ornaments, fruit and anything to make her place/home look and feel festive all winter long. She enjoyed the excitement and joy that the holidays brought. To tell the truth, I don’t care so much about the presents, I care more about the good times, friends, family – great conversation, and the good company. These are the things I look forward to the most, new traditions, new memories, new friends (people I meet and become permanent in my life). Each year has brought its share of heartache, true. But, far better; each year has brought with it its share of good (great/wonderful) fortune. Fabulous friends, great people who I’ve learned a great deal from. As I’ve said many times before, many are in our lives for a purpose. Sometimes they leave too soon (sometimes on their own fruition), and sometimes they stay with us for a lifetime. For whatever the reason, I am truly blessed to have known and to know the people I do.
I am very excited, for the first time in almost a decade, for the coming holidays. Decorating, cooking, relaxing and loving. 2013 started a bit rough; however, it’s ending smooth as ice (which is appropriate, don’t you think?)